Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Domestic Surveillance in America

There seems to be a lot of indifference in the United States regarding domestic surveillance. Perhaps this indifference is a result of a citizenry distracted by the war in Iraq, or because most people feel that they pose no real threat to the government (and therefore do not fear what government employees may seek to learn about the private lives of US citizens). Many people simply may not see how domestic surveillance affects them. Many people may simply desire anything that resembles protection from the nebulous threat of terrorism.

Wired News has published a description of the FBI's domestic surveillance capabilities, to which I posted the following comment (and immediately subsequent to which, the entire commenting feature for the article disappeared). I think these are concerns that every American citizen should consider with respect to the surveillance capabilities of the US government:

Maybe you do nothing wrong and have nothing to fear because you don't mind it when social engineers manage us like cattle.

Maybe you do nothing wrong and don't care if other people see all the personal details you reveal about yourself through your search history. Visit and see if you still feel that way.

Maybe you do nothing wrong and don't mind if a fascist government seeks to suppress or intimidate innovative thinkers who challenge the philosophical premises of successful business models with which government interests are entangled, and you are content to spend your days in a cube and your nights bowing down to the American Idol.

Maybe you don't mind if a foreign government hacks into our surveillance network and uses it against us, at your expense.

Maybe you don't mind being drafted into the War on Terror so long as you don't have to know about it.

Maybe the possibility of all those private contractors with access to your sensitive information doesn't bother you.

Maybe you care more about convenience than justice or liberty.

Maybe you're a terrorist.

Maybe it doesn't matter whether or not all your communications are surveilled because the potential for abuse is enough to make you self-censor any criticisms you may have of a government obsessed with stifling dissent.

Maybe you vote and are willing to boycott the two party system by voting for yourself, because that way you can both register your discontent and help verify the statistical accuracy of our voting system by demanding to see your vote in print after the elections.

Maybe you think our next President will spend every waking hour reversing Executive Orders, Presidential Directives, and un-litigating the last six years.

Maybe you wish the Revolution had never happened, and want to reinstate the Crown.

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